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Miyazaki’s ‘Ponyo’ opens Cinekid

Animated feature to kick off festival

BRUSSELS — Helmer Hayao Miyazaki’s “Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea” will open Amsterdam’s Cinekid, the international film, TV and new media festival for tykes age 4-14, on Oct. 18.

The hand-drawn toon recounts the friendship between a 5-year-old boy and a goldfish called Ponyo, who dreams of becoming human.

“Ponyo” has become Japan’s fifth highest grossing pic ever since opening in July, taking $117.5 million as of Aug. 31. It has just made its international bow in Venice.

Cinekid events include acting workshops with local helmers Pieter Verhoeff, Dave Schram and Nicole van Kilsdonk and a focus on films adapting children’s books by Dutch authors.

Authors Carry Slee and Francine Oomen will attend, along with the teams who brought their books to the bigscreen. Slee’s films are “XTC Just Don’t Do It” (2006), “Timboektoe” (2007) and “Desperate,” which will be released in the Netherlands in October. Oomen’s is “Hoe overleef ik…?,” released in the Netherlands in June.

For the industry there is Cinekid Professional, including international film and TV co-production markets, seminars and screenings. For the first time Cinekid also offers a market for new-media content aimed at children.

Cinekid’s full program will be unveiled Sept. 15. Fest closes Oct. 26.